NEWPORT County AFC return to action in League Two against Port Vale at Rodney Parade on Saturday afternoon.

The Exiles had last weekend off courtesy of Wales call-ups but are still setting the pace courtesy of Barrow’s late leveller at Cambridge.

Michael Flynn has frequently praised County’s competition for places and the manager will be mulling over his selection to take on eighth-placed Vale.

READ MORE: The verdict on County's summer signings

Here are several of the key decisions facing the boss before naming his team for Saturday’s clash with the Valiants…

South Wales Argus: INTERNATIONAL: Josh SheehanINTERNATIONAL: Josh Sheehan


Josh Sheehan’s early-season form means he will be a Wales international in County colours for the first time.

After working with Gareth Bale, David Brooks, Dan James and Chris Gunter to earn Nations League promotion, the only reason for leaving the 25-year-old out of midfield is his late return after a draining week with the stars.

Scott Twine’s October exploits earned a nomination for League Two player of the month and the Swindon prospect has impressed when sharing the creative burden with Sheehan, while also being a goal threat from distance.

Fellow loanee Jamie Devitt is another clever player who scored from close range in Carlisle and then thumped in a superb winner in London.

Three into two doesn’t go, unless Flynn opts to really go on the attack or tinker with the County system. Devitt to provide energy off the bench?

South Wales Argus: INFLUENTIAL: Liam ShephardINFLUENTIAL: Liam Shephard


Liam Shephard has been pivotal to County’s flying start to the season but missed the League Two loss at Carlisle and FA Cup win at Leyton Orient with a knee issue.

Robbie Willmott was rewarded for a lively appearance off the bench against Harrogate with a start in Cumbria.

Ashley Baker had to be patient at the start of the season but got the nod against Orient, scoring superbly from long range, and again versus Plymouth in the EFL Trophy.

Nonetheless, if Shephard is 100 per cent he will surely come back into the XI.

South Wales Argus: EXPERIENCED: Jamie ProctorEXPERIENCED: Jamie Proctor


Tristan Abrahams set himself the target of 20 goals this season and already has seven to his name, while he has also impressed with his industry.

Padraig Amond had to wait for his chance and grasped it after Saikou Janneh suffered a hamstring injury in Bradford.

The Irishman is on five for the season and captained the team impressively in Plymouth, dropping deep in the closing stages.

It was Jamie Proctor that got the nod alongside Abrahams at Orient and while the experienced frontman is yet to break his County duck, the loanee has proved himself at a higher level in the EFL and is looking sharper with action.

South Wales Argus: BOW? Wales U21s defender Aaron Lewis is yet to make his County debutBOW? Wales U21s defender Aaron Lewis is yet to make his County debut


Sheehan and Tom King weren’t the only ones on international duty, Wales Under-21s loan prospects Brandon Cooper and Aaron Lewis faced Moldova in Wrexham last Friday before an away game in Germany on Tuesday.

Cooper has established himself in the XI since arriving from the Swans and must be in pole position to slot in on the right side of a three, resuming the partnership with Matty Dolan and Mickey Demetriou.

However, dependable Scot Bennett is an option who has been training with County all week. Kyle Howkins and David Longe-King are on the comeback trail to join the defensive debate.

Lewis, who came off the bench twice for Wales, is yet to feature for County since arriving on loan from Lincoln on deadline day but is a player of promise who will hope to start making an impression at Rodney Parade.

Able to play down both flanks, the 22-year-old could profit from managers in the EFL now being able to make five substitutions.

Flynn’s matchday 18 will be revealed at 2pm on Saturday.